Citizen, it's up to you to make your voice heard to protect your fair city from this architectural crime. Demand of your councillor that such recladdings be passed by the design review panel before approval is given. Such a move could have spared us the super-villainy at 180 Wellington West.Holy 'Operating Thetan' Batman, that's terrible!
We don't need so many high end retail. When was the last time you shop at Holt Renfrew? With the influx of mid to upper class residents, more mid range retailers have the incentive to enter because they have a larger customer base. Trust me, business always goes after where the market is. If there are 800 20-30 something professionals with good income living near Yonge/Carlton, retail will follow. These people won't drive a car to the suburban outlet to do mass shopping and cook lunch and dinner every day. They eat out and they shop nearby.I was joking around with my last comment but it illustrates a real and pressing issue: Condo buildings are black-holes at street level, intrinsically. They are worse from a community perspective than mom-and-pop dive stores and dollar stores. You will not be getting high-end retail, not at all. It's great for low-rise neighbourhoods adjacent to Yonge or in other areas of the central city because all these people will have to leave their neighbourhood to go shopping, eat at restaurants etc. You can argue that I am exaggerating the trend but take a look at the evidence based on the condos which have gone up in the last decade. You would have to count yourself damn lucky to get something as interesting as a Shoppers Drug Mart at the base of a condo.
Mom and pop stores don't necessarily add character to our city. There is not a shortage of those on our Yonge st and look at what we get. Plus, mom and pop stores serve better in less than prime locations where retail activities are less, not right in the center of everything, unless of course these stores are extremely unique and competitive. If a mom and pop store only sells equally boring but overpriced stuff, why would I go shop there instead of H&M and McDonald's? You have to give consumers a reason to shop there over chain stores by having an advantage in something.The problem is that developers often do not want to go with independent businessess as they are seen as more riskly financially than large chains - hence the homogenization and loss of mom and pop stores that bring character and variety to the street.
First I don't think condo owners mind living above retail。 They didn't choose to live downtown for the tranquility. They know what they are getting into. Second, most retails don't create excessive noise. Is the college park mall that noisy for people who live nearby? I don't think so.Also, I think it is very difficult to do retail and condos. Alot of condo owners may not want restaurants or bars on the base for fear of noise/smells etc. I think it is very difficult to do condos/commercial well - at least from what I've seen and as a result it is the street life that suffers. Plus how many mid range retail stores can the popluation really support. I have seen a lot of condo buidlings with retail vacant at the ground level. People living at Yonge Carlton are 5 minutes away from the Eaton Centre if they want to do shopping. People are also at record levels of debt.
By comparison, NYCC *is* successful--with an assist from both preexisting urban form and Gangnam-style demographics...So generally its takes a critical mass of condos / density, moreover they need to have a built form that is desirable for retail. Take SCC and MCC (though many of the new projects in MCC are taking care to do this right), even though one may think there is a critical mass, even if restaurants do go in the base of a building, many times they don't do well, as the built form of the area just isn't conducive to walking.